July 29, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Langley, Historic & Heritage Sites
Find more information about Langley - Historic & Heritage Sites
View a larger image on flickr.com
Sometimes the places you've never visited are the ones that remind you strongly of home. Down in Campbell Valley Regional Park, near the border between Langley and the United States, there's a small pioneer homestead that stands in a clearing between dense forest on three sides.
If you approach it like I did - from the parking lot of the regional park - you cross through a set of meadows dotted with picnic tables, bordered by massive rhododendrons and groves of ill-tended hazelnut.
The field in front of the house is empty, save for the blue Chevy truck that belongs to the caretaker, who in fact lives in the home and maintains the hundred-year-old gable-roofed barn and its comparably modern neighbour, a 1939 gambrel hayloft.
You are free to try the door on the outbuildings; the house is off-limits to afford the caretaker some privacy. Walking around, I was struck by the property's emptiness and yet also by its humanity. The image of the broad unsown field, the historic house with plastic lawn chairs and a windchime out front, the deep forest menacing behind and tall clouds billowing across a blue sky is somehow accurate - the homestead is by no means a place beyond time, but the feeling it creates is ageless.
The Campbell Valley Regional Park Visitor Centre is located off of 8 Ave. just east of 202 St. in Langley, BC. The homestead is properly called the Annand/Rowlatt Farm, after its two principle owners.